Huntington Beach-based casual dining chain BJ’s Restaurants Inc. (Nasdaq: BJRI) said Monday it has temporarily laid off some 16,000 employees across its restaurants as a result of the impact to its business from COVID-19.

The workers are expected to be re-employed once the company sees a bounce back in sales.

Affected workers were paid their unused vacation and sick time. Employees not eligible for sick pay received short-term emergency paid time

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BJ’s said its 209 locations are open for takeout or delivery. Sales via those channels is up from pre-coronavirus periods, but not enough to offset the loss of dine-in sales, BJ’s said. It “continues to experience a material decrease in total sales.”

BJ’s confirmed it is not paying April rent on its buildings and is talking with landlords about future payments. Its monitoring restaurant performance and cash flow, and may close lower-performing locations.

BJ’s sahres closed up nearly 18% Monday for a market cap of $266 million.

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